New player guide

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This new player guide is based on one created by swcarter.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Horizon is a large overhaul mod. It touches just about every aspect of the game -- equipment, enemies, settlements, and more. It's like 50 mods in one. However, because of this, Horizon does not get along with other mods. You should always place Horizon last in your load order, and you should avoid mods that try to do some sort of overhauling themselves, sometimes even if they have an unofficial patch available. For a list of mods that work and don't work well with Horizon, please refer to the Mods section at the end of this guide.

Horizon was designed around the survival difficulty setting, where you're required to eat, drink, and sleep. This puts you on a timer of sorts, and it means you have to stay focused as you play. You shouldn't just wander around randomly. You should follow a path that allows you to get your settlement infrastructure up and running, and that puts you in contact with a doctor. For this reason, Horizon is easier if you've already played through the Fallout 4 campaign once.

Your Character[edit | edit source]

Horizon removes almost all SPECIAL bonuses from the equipment in the game. That makes it even more important than usual how you spend your initial attribute points. We detail a 37-point build below. It's 37 points because Horizon gives you 29 points to spend (instead of 21 like in vanilla Fallout 4), you get 1 point right away from the You're Special book in Sanctuary, and you get 1 starting point in each of the attributes (for 7 points total).

Strength (6). Horizon limits the amount of ammunition you find, so you're going to have to do some melee fighting, especially early in the game. Horizon (like vanilla survival) also puts a weight on all items, including ammunition, but it gives you a break in this department through the use of backpacks, cargo bots, perks, and armor mods that increase your carry weight limit. Still, melee damage is important enough that you should strive for a mid-level Strength score.

Perception (6). Many enemies in Horizon are only vulnerable in specific places (like super mutants in their head), so unless you're an excellent shot in real time, you're going to need to rely on VATS during certain fights. Perception increases your accuracy in VATS, making it important for the entire game. The Perception line of perks is also really useful, and you'll want to take the Technologist perk, which requires Perception 7, early on.

Note: If you follow the main questline, then you'll find the Perception Bobblehead (+1 Perception) almost right away.

Endurance (3). You start with extra hit points in Horizon (190 base), and Endurance just adds more (+20 for each point), making it an attribute you can skimp on early in the game. Just make sure you have at least 2 points in Endurance so you can choose the Survivalist perk quickly.

Charisma (9). Charisma is vitally important in everything outside of combat. It gives you more dialogue options, it improves prices with vendors, it increases quest rewards, and more. And unlike the vanilla game, you can't just switch to your Charisma gear for these things (since such gear doesn't exist). If money and role-playing are important to you, then you should keep Charisma high. But if you want to focus more on combat, then you can switch some Charisma points to other attributes instead, like Agility (for better sneaking) or Luck (for faster criticals in VATS).

Intelligence (6). Intelligence doesn't do a lot by itself -- it only increases your experience gained by +3% per point -- but the Science perk requires 6 points, and you'll need Science (along with Ballistics) to build the ZX-1 Experimentation Lab, which is the best way in the game to acquire new weapons.

Agility (5). Agility affects your sneaking ability and your action points (your total AP is 60 + 10 x AGI). This makes it useful in combat, so we'd recommend starting with a mid-level score.

Luck (2). Luck primarily just affects how quickly you fill the critical hit meter in VATS, so it's something you can ignore early in the game. Just make sure you have at least 2 points so you can select the Fortune Finder and Scrounger perks, which increases your chances of finding ammunition and other supplies.

You'll also have to make some tough decisions about perks as you gain levels.  Food and radiation damage will be your two biggest problems early in the game, so the Hunter perk (which increases your chances of getting good meat from animals) and the Survivalist perk (which gives you recipes for food and also Rad-Off) are good choices.  You should also think about Fortune Finder, Scrounger, and Technologist (which increase your odds of finding useful loot), plus Armorer and Gun Nut (which allow you to improve your armor and ballistic guns, respectively).

Finally, don't forget about the VANS perk. Every five levels, you can select it for free for five extra perk points. This helps to make up for Horizon's slower leveling rate, but even with (essentially) two perks per level, you'll probably still wish you had more. Horizon has more useful perks than vanilla Fallout 4.

Early Game[edit | edit source]

The first thing you should do in Horizon (or any other game of Fallout 4) is explore:

In Vault 111, you can pick up Antibiotics - basic, a Bandage, a Bobby Pin, two Combat stimpaks, a Portable memory device (which allow you to save your game), Purified water, RadAway, a Shoulder bag, a Trauma kit, and more.

Outside the vault, in the control building, you'll find a First aid kit.

In Sanctuary you can loot all sorts of stuff, including Grognak the Barbarian #3 and You're Special (which gives you an attribute point) inside your house. You can also visit the root cellar behind the blue house on the northern side of the settlement (two houses away from yours). There you'll find an advanced safe, a high quality first aid kit, three Purified waters, a Supply Kit (which gives 30 supplies at the Caravan Travel Hub), a Vault-Tec Training Manual (which gives you a perk point), a Weapon Toolkit (which allows you to switch ammo in your current weapon, provided you also have a conversion kit), and more. And don't forget about the dead man and dog by the bridge, and the duffle bag by the Minuteman statue.

You can also find some good stuff directly surrounding Sanctuary.  To the south, you can loot the Red Rocket Truck Stop settlement and kill several mole rats, both in the station itself and in the den underneath it (but preferably only after you've gained the Hunter perk).  To the north across the river, you can kill a raider and an attack dog and loot four Noodle Cups from their cabin.  To the southwest, you can loot four Purified Waters and a first aid kit at a water tower, and also loot a half-buried steamer trunk just to the south of the tower.  To the west in the "swamp," you can loot a first aid kit and an Army helmet at an armored vehicle.  And to the east, you can loot a Revolver and some Bobby Pins at a water pump.

That should be enough supplies to get you started.

Horizon Workbenches[edit | edit source]

Now that you're in shape to start crafting items and building up a settlement, it's a good idea to learn about some of the workbenches that Horizon adds to the game.

The Caravan Travel Hub (found under Architect->Utilities) is how Horizon handles fast travel. You can use a Caravan Travel Hub to travel to any of your settlements or to any major "city" (like Goodneighor or the Prydwen) that you've unlocked. Using the hub costs supplies, which you can create at the Tech Lab or buy at the hub. If you travel from one of your settlements, you'll need to have at least three settlers there for it to work.

The Command Table (found under Architect->Utilities) allows you to send settlers on tasks, once you've assigned some to job workstations, and as long as you're under your current limit for the tasks. To see your limits, open the Command Table to the tasks menu, and look at the X (Y/Z) numbers for each job. These numbers are totals for all of your settlements. X is the number of settlers you have assigned to the job, Y is the current number of settlers you have working on tasks for the job, and Z is the maximum number of settlers you can have working on tasks for the job. You can improve your limits by increasing how many successful and specialty settlements you have. But note that the job workstations are mostly cosmetic. They add happiness to your settlements, but they don't actually produce anything. So you should only assign settlers to job workstations once you have settlers who aren't doing anything useful.

The Farming Workbench (found under Architect->Farming) allows you to create fertilizer using unwanted food, and also domesticate wild plants by combining them with bones and fertilizer.

The Mailbox (found under Architect->Utilities) is where you receive mail from time to time. Mail can come from companions, from completing quests, or from learning perks. Some mail messages contain loot, so you should always build a mailbox and check it every so often.

The Market Trading Terminal (found under Crafting) is where you can find deals for certain items, but only once you've built up your Trading skill.

The Resource Station (found under Architect->Utilities) allows you to manage your farms, production facilities (like water purifiers), shared storage containers, and cargo bots.  It's where you place Maintenance Kits, Fuel and Fertilizer for your farms and facilities, plus cargo bot Transmitter Chips so you can increase your carry weight. Maintenance Kits and Transmitter Chips are both crafted at the Tech Lab.

The Tech Lab (found under Crafting) is Horizon's main crafting bench. This is where you craft items unique to Horizon, like Auto-Hackers, Cargo Bots, and Supply Kits.  This is also where you craft (consumable) items that increase the technology and trading levels of your settlements.

The Training Table (found under Architect->Utilities) is where you pick your combat specializations. You'll be able to choose two -- one at level 15 and another at level 30.

The Weapons Lab (found under Crafting) is where you assemble and disassemble ammunition, and also build unique weapons for your companions.

The ZX-1 Experimentation Lab (found under Crafting) is where you reverse engineer regular weapons so you can build them yourself. Then as your skill with the lab grows, and with special metal alloys (that you find during your explorations), you can eventually craft weapons that are better than vanilla weapons, with improved range, damage, and more.

Expanding Out[edit | edit source]

Once you've collected some supplies, you'll need to put them to use, setting up an infrastructure that can keep you fed, hydrated and safe over the rest of the game. You're not required to use settlements in the game, but having at least one big settlement as your base of operations is the easiest way to organize things.

For where to place your main settlement, Sanctuary is the easiest answer since the main questline will send you there anyway, and since it has lots of room for expansion. However, later on you might want to create a settlement more centrally located, to reduce your travel times.

Water[edit | edit source]

Main articles: Survival, Purified water

Unlike vanilla Fallout 4, just placing water pumps in a settlement won't cause settlers to produce Purified Water. To get Purified Water, you need 20 water ratings by building regular water resources, and a water purification unit, which can be found under architect -> production. To build water purification unit, you will need water purification module, which can be crafted in Tech lab, or sometimes general goods vendors in DC or GN will sell it. Lastly, craft Maintenance Kits and add them to Resource station.

Once you've built one or more Water producing buildings, you'll need to build the Resource Management table to run them. The recipe for the Resource Management table requires a Cargo Bot. To build one, you'll need to use the Tech Lab, and you'll either need rank 1 of the Robotics Expert perk to build it yourself, or you'll need to use the more expensive contracted work option.

Once you have a Resource Management table in place, you'll need to supply it with Maintenance Kits for the water purification to run. One Maintenance Kit will allow you to produce one bottle of Purified Water over the course of one day. So obviously you'll need lots of Maintenance Kits, which means you'll need lots of Tool Kits, so you should always collect any tools you find during your travels.

Note: There's a limit of how much purified water you can produce each day. It's equal to 4 + successful settlements.

Food[edit | edit source]

Main article: Survival

To adequately feed yourself, you'll need to eat food with a total value of 100 caps every day. However, there isn't an easy solution for this like there is for Purified Water. Early in the game you'll probably have a tough time acquiring enough meat to cook your own meals, but if you eat pre-war food, then you're going to take a lot of radiation damage and eventually need help from a doctor.

So grab the Hunter perk as quickly as possible. This will improve the meat you get from killing bugs and animals. You should also make your way to towns and shopkeepers quickly. In Diamond City, the meat merchant Polly might have enough stock to keep you full for a couple of days. At Abernathy Farm, Connie will sell you packs of Tatos and Melons for a relatively cheap price. You can also harvest the crops at the farm for some free Tatos and Melons.

Other good sources of meat include the Red Rocket Truck Stop (mole rats), the Starlight Drive-In (more mole rats), and the Robotics Disposal Ground (even more mole rats). Once you're powerful enough to take on super mutants, you'll also be able to loot their meat bags, which will supply you with lots of random meat.

Also you can use hunter missions to get meat, but that requires at least one successful settlement.

You can spend Fertilizer at the Resource Management table to grow specific kinds of vegetables. So, for example, if you really want Razorgrain for Noodle Cups, and if you have Razorgrain plants in your settlements, then you can stock the management table with Fertilizer to increase your Razorgrain yield.

Radiation[edit | edit source]

Main article: Radiation

Your radiation bar has 1000 points, and the more radiation damage you take, the less health you'll have available. Worse, RadAway will only heal 150 points of radiation and Rad-Off will only heal 100 points, and you won't find very many of either. This can put you in a hole early in the game, where you're at an uncomfortably low health level because you can't remove enough radiation.

The best solution for radiation is to just see a doctor (see below). Doctors are cheaper and easier than trying to use drugs for the same effect. Otherwise, you should try to avoid taking radiation damage at all. Keeping a hazmat suit around is a good idea, and early in the game you can use a vault suit (10 rad resistance) and a gas mask (also 10 rad resistance) for at least a little bit of protection. Also try to avoid ingesting irradiated food and water.

Doctors[edit | edit source]

Main article: Doctor

With all of the illnesses, radiation damage, and health damage that you can incur, it's important to gain access to a doctor as quickly as possible. There are three ways to go about this:

You can travel to a major town -- like Diamond City or Covenant -- and visit the doctor there. However, these towns are far enough away from Sanctuary that you might have trouble getting to them before you really need a doctor's services.

You can meet a random doctor. You can sometimes meet one in the parking lot attached to Concord or in a house along the route to Graygarden.

You can build a first aid station in one of your settlements. This used to be difficult because you'd need perks to unlock the construction. But now you just need Vendor contracts, which you can buy from wandering merchants like Carla (who visits Sanctuary) and Lucas (who visits Tenpines Bluff). Once you have doctors in your settlements, healing is a lot easier.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Main article: Weapons

You'll find lots of weapons when you kill enemies, but they'll almost always be in poor condition. Sometimes, you can repair these weapons at the Weapons Workbench, but a better solution is to reverse engineer them at the ZX-1 Experimentation Lab (which unlocks their recipe), and then build them anew.

When using the ZX-1 Experimentation Lab, you first need the perks and resources required to craft the basic model of the weapon, and then you need to pick one of three metal alloys to produce extra benefits. Your weapon crafting skill (gained from reverse engineering, crafting weapons at the lab, or using Weapon Tinker Kits from the Weapon lab) controls how powerful the weapon can be. The higher your crafting skill, the more alloys you can add, which increases the damage (by 2% for each alloy) and the experimentation points (by 10 for each alloy). Experimentation points allow you to improve things like the weapon's range, accuracy, and AP cost.

Horizon also allows you to switch the firing mode of your weapons, plus the ammunition being used, while you're in the field. This is accomplished through the use of a Weapon Toolkit, which you can add to your favorites so you can access it via the press of a button. To go along with the toolkit, you'll also need a conversion kit for the type of weapon you're using. Both the toolkit and conversion kits can be built at the Tech Lab.

Ballistic Weave[edit | edit source]

Horizon treats ballistic weave a little differently than the vanilla game. You'll have two ways to get it. The first is to increase the crafting skill of your settlers (via tasks and the Command Table). Once their crafting skill is over 25, you'll be able to use contracted work at the Tech Lab to craft Ballistic Weave Mk1 and Insulated Weave Mk 1. From there you should be able to insert the weaves into your underarmor / clothing and hat / helmet items.

The other method is the same as the vanilla method. After completing the first DIA Cache / Jackpot quest for PAM at Railroad HQ, Tinker Tom will start selling clothing items containing Ballistic Weave Mk 1. You'll then need to buy one of the clothing items, take it to an armor workbench, and select "No Weave" for it. This will put the weave into your inventory, which will allow you to place it in a different item.

When upgrading ballistic weave of either type, you'll need to remove it from the item it's in (by selecting "No Weave") and then select the next version you can craft (if any). This will place the improved weave back in the item. Nicely, this means you'll only need two sets of ballistic weave for your entire game (one for your hats and one for your clothing), and you'll be able to transfer them to new items if you find something better.

Metallic Alloys[edit | edit source]

When crafting and modding weapons and armor, you'll need lots of special metallic alloys. You'll find these alloys in a variety of places. Legendary enemies can drop them (in their prototype items); you can find them in appliances (like cigarette machines and milk vending machines), provided you have the Technologist perk; a lot of the medallions from the Fortune Finder perk will have them; name-brand junk items (like luxobrew coffee pots) can contain them; and regular junk items (including high-powered magnets and biometric scanners) can contain them.

Exploration[edit | edit source]

Main article: Enemies

The world gets more dangerous the farther away you get from Sanctuary, but the rewards get better, too. At some point you'll also need to reach a major city just for the shopkeepers, quests, and doctors. The main questline will send you south from Sanctuary, where you'll encounter Concord, the Drumlin Diner, and Graygarden while making your way to Diamond City. This can be a dangerous path since downtown Boston is filled with super mutants, robots and raiders. An alternative is to head southeast from Sanctuary and make your way to Covenant. Covenant is smaller than Diamond City, but it's easier to get to, and it has a general shop and a doctor available.

While you're exploring, you'll have to be careful about the enemies you tackle. Super mutants and robots are much tougher in Horizon than they are in the vanilla game, and in the early goings you might have to run away rather than face them. You should also get used to using VATS, if for no other reason than to learn the vulnerabilities of your enemies. Once you've learned that super mutants are vulnerable in their head, protectrons in their legs, and Mr. Handy robots in their eyes, they're not quite as difficult to kill, and you won't have to spend as many bullets in the process.